Harry Potter 6 Final Trailer!

It’s too awesome for words.  Just watch it!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince POSTPONED?!?

Muggles everywhere pull out your tissues or rioting signs now. If you haven’t heard the news, then know now you won’t be looking forward to a sixth movie in November.

Yes, friends, Harry Potter 6 won’t be joining us until July 19, 2009.

Why the sudden change? Well, other than to anger and annoy fans, WB knows they own Harry Potter fans and because of the writer’s strike the movies for next year are none too looking strong they decided it’s better to make more money later. See here for more details, and if you don’t believe that site, I checked the Warner Bros. HP site. The sad confirmation pictured below.

I was thinking, let’s rally together and force it out, but somehow I’m doubting it will matter. Everyone will still go see it when it comes out, and if the summer line-up for next year is looking so shabby (I guess I’m not seeing how X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Star Trek, Terminator Salvation, Transformers 2 and G.I. Joe–wait, I guess that isn’t super strong…) then it’s probably a better move for them financially to push it back.

Still, it kind of crushes my fall/winter movie hopes. I mean with Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Madagascar 2, I’m sure we’ll get along just fine without Harry……

……

Until 2009 friends.

Death Note 3: Live-Action

If you’re a Death Note fan, whether anime, manga, or live-action movies, you might be interested to know (if you didn’t) that a spin-off movie was released in Japan in February of this year. I’ll try to keep spoilers out of it for those who have never seen Death Note before or haven’t finished it. This movie takes place after Death Note 1&2 and is focused solely on the character L.

And by the way, if you haven’t seen either the anime or live-action movies of Death Note to date, check out my review over at Dee Animated for a more in-depth look at Death Note’s characters, where to watch and what to expect. This is definitely a series worth checking out. Now, back to L.

According to summaries I’ve found around the net:

A case is sent L’s way in the form of a Thai boy who alone survived a deadly virus outbreak in his village. L gets another guest when 12-year-old girl Maki (Fukuda Mayuko, Little DJ) shows up on the doorstep. Both children are connected to an Ebola-influenza virus developed by Maki’s father which has been stolen by terrorists. With the terrorists hunting for Maki and threatening to unleash the virus, L is forced to leave his chair and venture out into the real world, both children in stow. The days tick down as L rushes to develop an antidote and catch the terrorists before time runs out.

It sounded interesting, and since I love L I snagged it off of ebay and when Mac and I (cuz I’m sure she’ll be up for watching it) finish it we’ll let you know if it’s a welcomed addition to the Death Note family or not. The film is directed by Nakata Hideo (Ringu and Dark Water–Japanese versions, and Ring Two), so I’m hoping it’s money at least moderately well spent.

Maybe this will give me the L time I feel like I missed from the first two movies.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Trailer OFFICIAL

It’s finally here. It will be trailing the front of the new Mummy movie, but it’s available for a peek below and in higher quality here (QT required).

David Yates is again directing this sixth movie, and since he did a fantastic job with the fifth (especially after that Mike Newell tragedy) I’m wetting myself with eagerness for November. Enjoy! Enjoy!

What Lies in the Darkness?

I’ve wet myself repeatedly in excitement of the June 28th trailer announcement (among other things) of *dramatic pause* DIABLO III!!! WOW addicts beware! Blizzard really is bringing us a much desired, much anticipated sequel in the Diablo series (for both Mac and PC, yes).

The cinematic teaser is available to watch and if that doesn’t feel you with both excitement and rage (rage that it doesn’t come out tomorrow) I don’t know what will. Blizzard refuses to give an official release date, but gaming gurus around the web are predicting Christmas 2009, but with how much attention Blizzard developers are giving to this game, it’ll likely be 2010. Still, when we get updates, we’ll give them to you.

D3 will be using Battle.net for multiplayer game interaction. I wasn’t the hugest fan of the previous Battle.net for D2–dropped connections, slow connections, etc., but they’ve upgraded it and have it ready to roll for StarCraft II. I guess we’ll see what improvements have been made. It was free before, so hopefully the use of it will be free again (and anyone who knows for certain, please leave a comment).

As for classes, there will be five to choose from–male and female version alike instead of fixed–with the two revealed classes being Barbarian and Witch Doctor (which according to what I’ve read is going to be very similar what Shaman is to WOW).

NOSTALGIC MOMENT: Although I love the World of Warcrack in all its addictive glory (been clean a year now *wink*), I do like to see a game every now and again with a story to it–and that’s what the Diablo series has been for me. (I haven’t yet ventured into Starcraft). I remember the first time I got to see Diablo in D1, and I’m excited to face him again in D3. The wacky maze world in D2, and Mephisto and Baal–all good memories. D3 will be like the high school reunion you actually want to go to. (^_^)

So when the developers finally decide on a release date, you can be sure that Visual Crack will get it and review it–though I’m doubting most of you will wait for the review before you buy.

And if you’ve never played the Diablo series before, they’re probably cheap and could be a fun nostalgic trip, but if you’ve been impressed by Blizzard before, you won’t be disappointed with the new game. When it comes out, get it.

It’s a LittleBigPlanet

The second in my series of “Most Anticipated Games 2008” posts.


With the advent of the most recent generation of gaming consoles has come a giant leap in our expectations of game developers and their offerings. We expect bigger levels, more impressive graphics, and more open gameplay.

Enter LittleBigPlanet, one of the most hotly anticipated games of this year and number two on my own list of games I must own as soon as it hits the shelf. I have actually asked that the celebration of my own birthday be delayed to coincide with the street date of this game. If that doesn’t tell you how excited I am I don’t know what will.

LittleBigPlanet is a truly original concept: a game built for people want to both play and create their own levels and share them over a network. We’re not talking about your average level builder included in some other games. In this game you can build anything you want and if you see something in another level you want but don’t know how to build, you will have different options on how to obtain that item. This is the epitome of “Game 3.0”.

Digital Sackboy.Real Sackboy.Gameplay starts out with the base character, affectionately dubbed Sackboy. He looks exactly like he’s knitted out of yarn. The graphics are that good. Don’t believe me? Compare. On the left you see the digital Sackboy, on the right you see a real knitted Sackboy* (which I really want, by the way). Tell me that doesn’t look amazing.

But it doesn’t end there: Sackboy’s got personality. Feel like breaking out in air guitar in the middle of a run? Go right ahead. Feeling blue? Sackboy’s face – and hands – can reflect that. Compared to other games I’ve seen and played, you have an unprecedented amount of control over the character’s personality and appearance in real time. And the game’s not even finished yet. Come on, even the manliest among you can let that fangirl squee out. Nobody’s going to laugh; they’ll all be doing the same thing.

Character development.Building your level and building your character use pretty much the same mechanic: a bubble above Sackboy’s head filled with various items and shapes you can use. You can even decide what type of material you want to use to make your items, be it wood, cardboard, sponge, or rock. You can make sizzling hot pits to fry Sackboy to a crisp, electrify items to shock the plucky puppet, or even drop in ice blocks that will instantly encase the little guy in an ice cube if touched. The possibilities are endless.

All your base are belong to us!The different items you can actually build are astounding. From things that just look pretty to items you can actually use, you can create just about anything. And if you can’t figure out how to create it, there are people out there who can and probably will. echochrome, another game that gives players the option to build and share levels, could just be giving us a taste of how much creativity we can look forward to when LittleBigPlanet hits the street.

You can make your level as complex or simple as you’d like. When you’ve finished building it you can take it for a test drive and tweak it before you unleash it on the rest of the world. You make the rules for the levels you build (as long as those rules obey the laws of the physics engine, of course). And if you’ve managed to make something totally awesome you can choose to share it or keep it to yourself (just remember: Sharing is caring).

Now, I’ve never been big on multi-player games, but the brains at Media Molecule have done the impossible: just the idea of playing this with friends is enough to send me into a fangirl squee. This game can be played alone, but its real draw is in the cooperative play. Some levels will be a lot easier to get through if you’ve got some buddies to help with the heavy lifting (literally). This is a very social game and the first game that I’ve been excited about largely because of that social aspect.

Just a pretty picture from the game.I was going to link to more individual videos but when I ran across the Gametrailers LittleBigPlanet site I figured I’d just provide you with the link and let you have at it. I will, however, specifically link to the GDC 2007 demonstration video. It’s 18 minutes long but well worth your time. Also, check out Media Molecule’s blog. They’re the guys responsible for this masterpiece of gaming goodness and there’s no reason you shouldn’t pay them a visit.

Another good resource for LittleBigPlanet is the LiBiPl Blog.

*Real knitted Sackboy by one of the artist’s mothers.

Post-Nuclear Simulation Blues *UPDATE*

*UPDATE*

Wow, so many people have come here to see this post. Welcome all. I just want to point out that this post has a companion post that clears up a few things I was thinking when I wrote it, but didn’t include because it made sense in my head and I completely failed to take into consideration it might not make sense in everybody else’s heads. So if you feel like you want to read a bit more of an explanation, check out “Fallout from Fallout. And if you have any questions or comments please feel free to hit up our email address or hit the comment link. But please remember this is a family-friendly site, so don’t use profanity. Thanks again for dropping by.


The first in my series of “Most Anticipated Games 2008” posts.


As a franchise much beloved by those who have played it, the news that Bethesda was taking over the development of Fallout 3 was greeted with great wariness on the web. Having never played any of the Fallout games myself I can’t really speak for those who were less than enthusiastic at this announcement.

What I can tell you is that my anticipation for this game was second only to GTA IV at the beginning of the year. Now I’m all about the Fallout.

The initial grab for me was the teaser trailer. There’s no game play, no action, I doubt it’s even a real cut scene from the game. But… wow. The music is a perfect contrast to the video and even for the game itself. The posters are reminiscent of the 50’s in their style, which makes sense due to that era really focusing the Cold War and, subsequently, nuclear holocaust on the American mind. At the end we are treated to a voice-over by none other than Ron Perlman, the man who did the voice-overs for all the Fallout games (and who is also responsible for a wicked cool portrayal of Hellboy on the silver screen).

From the reading I’ve done online a big fear among Fallout faithful has been that the most recent installment will be more FPS than RPG. I think this fear has been a big reason why Bethesda has been touting the new control scheme so heavily. You can’t read an article about Fallout 3 without hearing about V.A.T.S. (Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System). It’s sounding very much like an RPG with FPS elements (though Bethesda is careful to note they are not making an FPS and that you will have a hard time getting through the game if you choose to play it that way).

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been particularly big on playing RPGs. Turn-based systems drive me crazy mostly because I’m not the type of person that likes to wait and exchange hits. The closest I can come to dealing with a turn-based system is playing World of Warcraft. I know video game nerds everywhere will be outraged that the battle system is the main reason I refuse to play any Final Fantasy games. I tried to play Final Fantasy VII and couldn’t get past the first battle. I suck at turn-based games. I own it.

V.A.T.S. in action.In any case, what I’ve seen of V.A.T.S. has me excited to give it a try. I’m really digging the news that you can shoot in real-time and go into V.A.T.S. for more precise targeting (though as with all turn-based games there is no guarantee you’ll actually get a hit).

The beloved character Dogmeat is also making an appearance. What’s so cool about that? Well, apparently you can tell Dogmeat to go find stuff you need and he’ll go find it. But, he doesn’t just disappear off-screen for a couple of seconds, then magically reappear with what you asked for. He could be gone for hours looking for the item you requested. It will definitely add an element of realism to the game. Let’s face it, when was the last time you looked for something that wasn’t readily available and found it right away?

V.A.T.S. in action.The choices that you have to make in the game are interesting to say the least. The only example I’ve seen is enough to peak my interest immensely: You have to decide whether or not to activate a dormant nuclear bomb. If you activate the bomb you destroy Megaton, the town built around the bomb, effectively deleting any quests you could have done there. If you choose not to destroy Megaton you can’t do any of the quests associated with its destruction. The choices you make could drastically alter the outcome of the game, which Bethesda has said will include over 200 endings.

But the thing I’m most excited about at this point is the beginning of the game where you develop your character. You literally “grow up” learning what you need to know the play the game. Of all the games I’ve played that have tutorial levels this is, quite simply, the most original idea I’ve ever heard. From birth to the day you finally leave Vault 101 in search of your father you learn how the world of Fallout 3 works. On top of that, your choice in physical attributes will affect how your father looks, effectively creating a family resemblance. Very cool.

Given all that (and I’m sure there’s much more I haven’t written about) it should come as no surprise that this is my most anticipated game of the year. For up-to-date info check out the excellent Fallout 3: A Post Nuclear Blog. For pictures check out the gallery.